Lake Louise and The Tea House: A Perfect Day in Banff National Park

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most iconic lakes in the world, and for good reason. The turquoise waters, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, are simply breathtaking. But there’s more to Lake Louise than just its beauty. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, including hiking, biking, and boating.

One of the most popular activities at Lake Louise is hiking to the Lake Agnes Tea House. This historic tea house is located high above the lake, and the hike to get there is a moderate one that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Once you reach the tea house, you can enjoy a cup of tea, a snack, and the amazing views.

A few interesting facts about the Tea House:

  • Most of the staff are university students or new graduates, who live at the tea house for the summer before school starts again. The tea house family lives in the loft above the kitchen and in two rustic cabins. There is no electricity, running water or wifi. They do have solar energy to charge an emergency cell phone. They walk the same trail a visitor would take to get there, 2-4 times a week.
  • One of the staff has to hike up the fresh supplies every day after their day off. Usually the person carries up: 12 cucumbers and 2.5 kgs/ 5lbs of cheese, their clean laundry and staff dinner. There are 2 helicopter days a year for all of the flour, sugar, propane and dry goods that are too heavy to hike. This usually takes an entire day as it takes 40 trips to fly all of the supplies up. The helicopter uses a long line with a large net attached to drop supplies just off the tea house porch.
  • The staff carries out all of the garbage and recycling on their backs. Every staff hiking down has to carry at least 2 big bags of garbage and an XL recycling bag. If you are hiking down early morning or in the evening, you may spot a staff member running down the garbage from the day.
  • They fly bottles of water up with a helicopter for those that need it. The water for everything else is pumped up the hill, treated and held in a tank that is gravity fed to the tea house before it’s boiled for service.
  • The baker begins everyday at 4:30AM in order to bake the oatmeal, brown bread, tea biscuits, mountain treat, apple crumble and soup for the day. The next staff arrives at 7:00AM and continues setting up for opening at 8:00AM. The days are long at Lake Agnes as all jobs are done by hand as there is no electricity. Even bagging tea is done by hand! This means the tea family is constantly washing dishes, making sandwiches, waiting on tables and baking. They don’t finish cleaning up the outhouses, tea room and dishes until 7:30PM.

Knowing these details about how the tea house is run makes you appreciate the magical experience that much more!

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, you can also try the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. This tea house is located even higher than Lake Agnes, and the hike to get there is more difficult. However, the views from the tea house are even more spectacular.

No matter which tea house you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Lake Louise today!

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